How to Use a Call to Action in a Marketing Video

What is a Call To Action?

A CTA is fairly self-explanatory. It’s a direct communication letting the viewer know exactly what they need to do next. A CTA can: direct to a website, prompt a download, encourage a sign-up, and more. Basically, it creates positive movement that helps your marketing message turn into action.

Why is a CTA Important for a Marketing Video?


No matter what type of marketing or media channel you’re using, you must always remember that it’s still a form of communication. And in every form of communication, there are two sides; a sender and a receiver. So while you plan your message and the goals of your business, keep in mind that the viewer also has their own goals.

What does this mean?

Those goals involve finding something interesting or useful in what they’re watching. Meaning, the viewer will only continue watching your video if they are getting something out of it. What’s crucial is that if your viewer does find something of interest, they need to know precisely how to get it.

Imagine you have an amazing restaurant in New York. You advertise every day, talking about how great it is, but with no further information. People see your ad and are enticed with the delicious food and they want to visit. Unfortunately, they have no idea how to contact you, how to reserve a table, or where you’re located.

In a marketing video, you’re preparing your viewer, creating emotion and demand, and encouraging them to want your product. That’s why it’s important to let the people know what to do when they get done watching your video. Otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time, and your money!

How Does a CTA in a Video Help Generate More Leads?

CTAs can be used in different ways.

•You can use it as a call for the final action. For example, link to purchase, claim a free trial, or any other direct action.

•You can also refer the viewer to learn more, or go to a product page. There they can see more info about the product and they are a bit further in the funnel. You’ll also be able to move them toward links or buttons on the page.

Both of these are good options, although one may work better depending on your marketing strategy.

Examples of Calls to Action in Video Marketing

You can use CTAs in marketing or explainer videos for different purposes. Here are some of the most used possibilities:


  • Visit your website. You can direct them to your homepage, landing page, or product page.
  • Call number. This is the classic one that we all remember from TV commercials and before websites. It’s still effective today.
  • Sign up. This is good if you’re collecting emails to get potential customers into your sales funnel.
  • Contact Us. Another great option for getting people in your funnel.
  • Schedule a demo. Potential customers love trying products and services out before having to spend money or commit. This is a great choice if you have something that works with demos.
  • Try for free. Same as a demo, this is an effective CTA.
  • Find out more/Learn more. This is another great CTA for products or services that may create buying hesitation (due to high price, unfamiliarity, complex details, etc.).

How to Write a Call to Action


Your call to action must fit your marketing strategy. This means you should plan the role of your video in the strategy and base your CTA on that.
(learn how to plan marketing video production)

If your product is sold on your website or you need to explain your features but you can’t fit them all in to your video, the Call To Action should let viewers know they need to head to your site. Or head to a specific page where they can get detailed information.

The bottom line is that the CTA should convey the video’s main goal and strategy depending on which stage of the sales/marketing funnel the video is used for.

How to Write an Effective CTA for Each Funnel Stage

This is an important part that video producers sometimes miss. If your video is used in the marketing funnel simply for explaining the main idea or to spread the word, your CTA should drive people to the next stage of your funnel. Let me explain.

If you use your video just for information, addressing the pain points of the viewers and then suggesting the solution, then your CTA should take them to the next stage of your funnel.

Sales Funnel

Our photo example may be different, as different companies utilize different funnels. But you get the idea. In our example though, your next funnel phase will be a landing page or public expo (you can tell them to come find you there). After that, you can move to the sales stage.

Don’t use your CTA to sell if the video is in a stage too early to press for the close. If your video is about conversion, then you can include a CTA to ask for a demo, make a purchase, or other action.

How to Write a Great Call To Action for a Marketing Video

A great Call To Action should have 2 components; emotional and informational. People should be motivated enough to take action. And people should have clear information about how to take the action you want them to take.
This means that you create an explainer video with the right concept. You have the right message to the right audience with a solution that cures the pains of your viewers and motivates them to take action. The next step is to have a Call To Action with clear information on what to do. It’s like a map — everything should be a clear and simple path so the viewer is guided easily to the destination.

How to Identify the Elements of a Good CTA

•It fits your marketing strategy
•It fits your brand
•It motivates the viewer
•It’s clear
•It’s concise and doesn’t drag out
•It targets your specific audience

Where Would a CTA Overlay Show in a Video?

That all depends on what kind of video it is and what timestamp you decide to have the CTA. Let’s say your video is a long informational one like the kind you find on YouTube. You spend some time explaining your app’s features and you need to leave info in the video where the viewer can learn more about a subject. In that instance, you should have the CTA pop up on one of the corners of the screen. If it’s an explainer video or other business video, we recommend using the CTA at the end. Have it big, and right in the middle.

How Can I Add a CTA Button to a Video?

There are many great video hosting services that give you tools where you can add a button with hyperlinks. You can even track metrics like how many times the button has been hit, demographics, and other analytics. Check Vimeo, Wistia, Vidyard, or just use Google to find the best one that fits your needs.


What’s the Difference Between Liking and Action?

This a really interesting and also slightly confusing part of digital video. Some marketers or business owners make mistakes here. If you have a cool business video and people love it, that still never guarantees viewers will take action. The video may be cool and funny and popular and may even get shared a million times. But when something goes viral, it goes everywhere, and most of those people won’t even be your buyers. So you’ll see your video everywhere but sales may barely go up. So, liking is not action. Make sure you measure your video’s conversion right.

How Do I Know if My CTA Works Well or Not?

There are 2 indicators and you need to measure both.

1. How many people from YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE (very important) watched your video.

2. How many people followed through on the action you wanted them to take.

So make sure that your video is watched by your target audience and track involvement. But to be sure of that, you need to test it.

How to Use Different CTAs for the Same Video

This is a very cheap and effective thing that a lot of marketers ignore. When you create your video, plan your CTA carefully. And plan 2 things:

1. Situations and locations you can use your video

2.Different CTAs for each of them

For example, you can use your video on your website and social media. So, of course, the CTAs should be different for those different locations. In the first one you can refer people to your website, and in the next have them contact or follow you on social media.

Also, you can use different texts for your CTAs. Visit our website for more information. Learn more. Make an order on our website. Etc.

The best part of doing multiple CTAs is that the voiceover will record this for a great price as an add-on, and the production company will not charge you too much for it either. You may spend an additional $700-1000, but you’ll have all the different variations that can be used for different situations and you’ll be ready to test them out to see which work best.

How to Use A/B Testing to Test CTAs in Your Marketing Video

Now you’re ready to test your Call To Actions. Upload your videos to the hosting services that give you the ability to track analytics. Lean the analytics dashboard carefully because some CTAs can work better for a specific demographic or geographic group and you’ll want to get insight for that. Understand which CTA works for which group. For example, some CTAs may work well for 25 year old women, and another one may work with 50 year old men. This is important because in some places (like Facebook ads) you can get very specific with your targeting and find all sorts of different potential customers.

Final Words

You can have the best marketing or explainer video in the world, but without a strong CTA, you’re only wasting time and money. Choose your CTA carefully, however, and you’ll have the best chance at an amazing ROI!

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How to Use a Call to Action in a Marketing Video
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How to Use a Call to Action in a Marketing Video
Learn how to Create And Use Right A Call To Action In Marketing Video
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Yans Media
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